Hooch and Howls Preorder Is Up!

On Leap Day, I put my historical M/M/M novella up for preorder! Hooch and Howls was originally published in 2012. When I looked through it with an eye toward rereleasing, I came across one scene that completely made me cringe. The original concept of the story was that the werewolf, Malachi Powers, was affected overly strongly by even the smell of alcohol, with the result that he joined in on sex with two humans without their consent. As originally written, consent was given retroactively (the humans said they were fine with what had happened), but given that I wanted Malachi to be a *heroic* character since he appears in the next Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat novel and is being spun off into his own novel and possibly series, I couldn’t leave that scene as written.

So for the rerelease, I did some major rewrites of that scene. While Malachi is still affected by the fumes of the hooch the humans spill, and he is admittedly spying on them when they start their sexual encounter, he quickly realizes he shouldn’t be there. And the humans *explicitly* call to him and invite him to join them before he does anything.

The rest of the book has been revised and re-edited, and it will be released wide on March 14 in digital versions. I’m also doing a paperback version of it because I like having physical books. You can find your retailer and preorder your copy at my universal book link. And here’s the cover!

2024 Here We Go!

It’s a new year. Which is a little mind-boggling. December went by way too quickly.

It’s now 2024, and I’m still kind of wrapping my head around that. Usually I spend December, and sometimes start as early as October, planning the upcoming year. My goals, my hopes, my “if there were no objects in the way” dreams. It’s a month or more of daydreaming, brainstorming, Tarot and oracle cards, and various other means of sorting out what I want to do, what I’m capable of doing, and what I would really love to do if I could figure out how. I didn’t do that this year. At the beginning of December, something hit my life (and the lives of a number of others in my social circle, as well as my family) very hard, so I didn’t have the bandwidth to do much more than process, grieve, and figure out how to reconstruct my day-to-day life.

However. I do have some plans for 2024. It might be worth noting here that I don’t do “New Years resolutions.” For me, personally, resolutions are the “I should do this” things that usually get put aside because either I can’t figure out *how* to do them or because I only decided to do them because I thought I “should.” I don’t deal with shoulds anymore. As one of my past therapists was fond of saying, I stopped shoulding all over myself. I make goals and plans, not resolutions.

For 2024, tentatively, I’m planning:

1.To release Tempeh for Two (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 5) on January 11. This book is already up for Kindle preorder! I’ll also be releasing Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 6, titled Take Some Tahini, in July. Take Some Tahini is the first brand-new Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat novel since 2014; the previous five, including Tempeh for Two, were originally published between 2011 and 2014. (All the rereleases have been revised, updated, and re-edited, and some have been expanded with new content.)

2. To figure out the timing of the rest of my release schedule. For 2023, my original plan was to release books in January, March, May, July, September, and November. But my March release, Chance Met, got held up because of personal life stuff as well as issues with expanding it, so instead of releasing the second week of the month as intended, it came out toward the end of March. Because of that, I didn’t want to have a May release, because it wouldn’t have given me enough time to promote both books. So I skipped May, made the September release an October release instead, and then wound up doing a Christmas story in November after deciding not to release anything that month. Yeah, it was all as confusing as it sounds. For 2024, I’m currently planning releases in January, April, July, and October, with another Christmas story at the end of November/beginning of December, but that might change.

3. To make all of my books available “wide,” meaning through multiple retailers. This means they will no longer be available through Kindle Unlimited, which requires that books be sold exclusively on Amazon. I apologize to my readers who prefer KU because of finances or other reasons. There are multiple factors behind my decision, including a reduction in the amount Amazon pays authors for Kindle Unlimited reads and hearing from readers who would like to buy my books but won’t or can’t by from Amazon. After considering and talking with other authors, I decided it would be worth trying having my books available through other retailers in addition to Amazon, including Kobo and Barnes & Noble. I’ll be starting this change in February with Fill the Empty Spaces, followed by Chance Met in March. Tempeh for Two, along with the rest of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series, will be available through Kindle Unlimited until April, at which time the entire series will be released through other retailers. I’m still fine-tuning how I’ll approach new releases; my options are either release them through all retailers from the beginning, or make them Amazon exclusive–and available through Kindle Unlimited–for the first 90 days after release, then put them with other retailers. Stay tuned for announcements on that as I make decisions and see how releasing my books wide affects my sales and readership. Yes, I write books because I love writing books… but I also do it to help pay my bills, and sometimes that means needing to make decisions that benefit the bank account.

4. To start a subscription. A number of my fellow authors have Patreon or Ream accounts through which they offer readers bonuses and perks for a monthly subscription fee (which in some cases is as low as $1 a month!) I actually have a Patreon but haven’t done much with it because creating things for it and promoting it felt like a little too much. I’ve been following those other authors, though, and learning more about how to make it all work without breaking my brain, so I hope to either brush up my Patreon for a relaunch or set up a Ream subscription (Ream is like Patreon but exclusively for writers) by my birthday, June 30. If you read this and have thoughts about what you’d like to see offered through a subscription like this, please leave a comment!

5. To release the follow-up to Chance Met, titled A Fighting Chance. This book will probably conclude Trey and Jeremiah’s story, as it brings their romance to a logical happy-for-now ending as well as tying up plot threads introduced in Chance Met. I don’t really see anywhere for their story to go after this one. This is the only “I’m not completely sure yet” plan on this list; I haven’t decided whether I’ll actually release this one. If I do, it will be out in March or May.

6. To rerelease my novella Hooch and Howls. Originally published in 2012, this is a historical MMM novella featuring a crotchety hermit werewolf and two young men sucked into the rumrunning trade in 1930 Nova Scotia. I’ve rewritten a portion of this novella to address a plot point I found…we’ll say distasteful, and I’m looking forward to reintroducing Malachi Powers, the hermit werewolf, and his love interests Roger and Jonathan to the world. And speaking of Malachi…

7. To release a new novel, currently titled Ebb and Flow. This novel follows from Take Some Tahini, but is not part of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series. (You can tell, because the title doesn’t reference a vegan food.) In Tahini, Tobias meets a young werewolf named Quinn Bouchard, who had a traumatic entry into the werewolf world that reminds Tobias of his own. After Quinn’s pack ejects him for reasons beyond Quinn’s control, Tobias takes him in as one of his guards and brings Quinn with him and Kyle to meet with the Anax of Canada. While in Nova Scotia for that meeting, they meet Malachi Powers (yes, the one from Hooch and Howls, which is why I plan to rerelease that novella), a friend  of the Canadian Anax–and, as it turns out, Quinn’s mate, something which disturbs Malachi both because Quinn is mourning the loss of his partner and because of a major age gap; Malachi is somewhere around 150 years old, while Quinn is only 22. Though their story begins in Take Some Tahini, it’s fully formed in Ebb and Flow, which I’m currently in the process of writing and am very much enjoying. I hope to have this novel ready to release in September or October.

Other plans, particularly for book releases, are in flux right now. But the good thing about planning and writing and working for myself (and my readers) is that I have the ability to be flexible.

I hope your 2024 is off to a wonderful start! If you have plans you’d like to share, leave a comment!

 

 

Surprise Book!

I hadn’t planned on a book release this month, until I started thinking about the holidays and decided I wanted to release a Christmas story. Fortunately for me, I had a Christmas story in my files.

Snow on Christmas Eve was originally a 5000-word short story titled “Christmas Eve Snow” that I’d posted as a freebie on my old (pre-hiatus) website. I’ve spent time revising and re-editing the story… and in the process, I expanded it into a short novella of a little over 10,000 words.

Christmas was always Tag’s favorite holiday. Time with his parents, brothers, and other family, dinners, Christmas lights. But this year, Tag wants nothing to do with the holiday. In September, his coming out as gay and announcing that his partner Darion was moving in with him resulted in his family rejecting him. How can he be happy when he’s lost his family?

On Christmas Eve, Darion insists on taking Tag for a walk in a snowstorm. Claiming that snow on Christmas Eve is magic, Darion asks Tag to make a wish. And Tag does, never believing that his wish to have his family back might come true.

(I’ll definitely be tweaking the blurb before uploading the book for sale!) Snow on Christmas Eve will be available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other vendors on Thursday, November 23! When it’s live, I’ll add the links to my home page and my “Other Male/Male Romance” page. Meanwhile, here’s the cover:

Going “Wide”

I posted several weeks ago about why my books are currently only available through Amazon. However, that will be changing in 2024.

Amazon has a subscription service called Kindle Unlimited, which allows people to pay a monthly cost and access a large number of Kindle books that they can read; those books are removed from their device after a certain amount of time, if I’ve understood correctly. This enables people who can’t necessarily afford to buy every single book they want to read, to be able to read the books they want. For a book to be included in Kindle Unlimited, it must be exclusive to Amazon, meaning that the *digital* version of the book cannot be available anywhere else, including as a giveaway (again, as I understand it, though I might be wrong about that). The print version can be available through other sales or giveaway channels, because Kindle Unlimited only deals with e-books.

When I started self-publishing my books in spring 2022, I chose to go Amazon exclusive because I wanted my books to be available through Kindle Unlimited. I knew authors who were making the bulk of their income through “page reads” in KU, and as someone who myself can’t afford to buy all the books I want, I thought it would be good to make them available to my readers who might not be able to buy my books.

However, Amazon keeps changing the rules for how they pay authors for Kindle Unlimited page reads. They’ve also made the decision to allow AI-generated books, which not only will flood the market (further reducing the amount that authors receive) but also is problematic because of how artificial intelligence is trained. Generative AI, the programs people use to “create” art, books, etc., is trained through use of existing art and books–for which the human creators of those things are NOT asked for permission and receive no compensation. One of my young adult novels has been essentially stolen to train AI to “create,” and I only knew about it because someone spotted it on a list and informed me. (I’m not going to get into all the problems with AI. Nor am I going to respond to people who say “But some of us need AI!” AI does have its place.. but that place should not be stealing the work of human creators in order to enable machines to “create” things. You can Google if you want more info about this, or check out authors like Lori Gallagher Witt who are talking more extensively about it.)

Because of those issues, I’ve made the decision that beginning in 2024, I will be pulling my books out of Kindle Unlimited as their terms expire (KU books are signed up for 90 days at a time, which automatically renews unless we opt out). I will also be releasing some short stories and shorter novellas in addition to the novels I’m planning to release in 2024, and that will start in a couple of weeks with a Christmas short story, “Christmas Eve Snow,” which will be released wide. (This story is also an alternate gift to those who subscribe to my newsletter; details are on the https://karennacolcroft.com/get-your-free-story/ page.)

Due to when the expiration dates fall, some of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat books will still be in Kindle Unlimited when I release Tempeh for Two in January. Because of that, I will be releasing Tempeh for Two as an Amazon exclusive (and available in Kindle Unlimited) for the first 90 days of its existence; it will be available wide in April, and between February and April the rest of the books in that series will also be going wide. Beginning with my April 2024 release, which currently is slated to be the sequel to Chance Met, all books will be released wide; none will be available through Kindle Unlimited at any point. (As with everything I determine about my writing, this decision is subject to change, so stay tuned for updates.)

I still believe Kindle Unlimited is a great service for readers. But it’s no longer such a great thing for authors.